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2008 GARBC Service Awards

ANKENY, Iowa—John Greening, national representative of the GARBC, announced the annual service awards during the closing session of the 2008 GARBC Conference. Recipients were nominated by members of their own churches; these awards honor people who are active in building the body of Christ with passion, vision, and commitment.

Paul and Edwina Lobb ministered as pastor to four churches—Unionville Baptist Church in Unionville, Iowa; Mount Ararat Baptist Church near Centerville, Iowa; Prairie Flower Baptist Church in Washington, Iowa; and Lakeland Baptist Church in Gilbert, Minnesota—before he accepted the position of Minnesota state representative, a job that includes the position of Bass Lake Camp director. The couple served at this camp for fifteen years. The camp staff vividly recalls that the Lobbs’ joy permeated even the most mundane jobs, like cleaning toilets and yanking weeds. Paul and Edwina’s faithfulness impressed this delight in the Lord’s work upon their camp staff, who recollects early morning devotions and late-night meetings in the camp office. The Lobbs’ impact spans the globe through their former camp staff, now missionaries, pastors, and pastors’ wives in Columbia, Israel, Brazil, South Africa, and the United States

After Paul retired from his work as the Minnesota state representative, the Lobbs began ministering overseas. In 2003 and 2004, Paul and Edwina traveled to Invercargill, New Zealand, to provide field relief for missionaries Art and Deb Brammer. The Lobbs have participated in several family camps and conferences, including the Peru Field Council Missions Conference. Paul and Edwina currently serve as Bibles International representatives for Baptist Mid-Missions.

David and Virginia Law have been compared to Gaius in 3 John, who welcomed and ministered “to the brethren, and to strangers.” Faithfully ministering at Calvary Baptist Church in Norwich, New York, the Laws show their love for Christ by loving their family, church, and community. A deacon as well as the supervisor for the town of Norwich, David injects his faith into community dealings by inviting clients and corporate leaders to church and by encouraging Brian Conover, the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, to open town leaders’ meetings in prayer. The Laws selflessly give of their time and energy every Sunday as they greet people at the doors and stay late to fellowship in the foyer. David and Virginia greatly aided the ministries at Calvary Baptist Church by serving in community evangelism events, helping the hurting, leading the youth group, serving on Valley Heights Christian Academy’s school board, and helping in Awana. Pastor Conover remarks, “I can’t think of anything they haven’t done at Calvary.”

Now in the Senior Saints group, David and Virginia are making their biggest impact on the church by joyfully influencing other senior saints to allow the church to transition its methodology for greater impact on future generations. Although the Laws have attended Calvary Baptist Church their entire lives, they are not clinging to the way things have been done, and their encouraging attitude is becoming contagious.

Mary Dalzell recalls urging her mother to pray louder while surviving the tornado that ripped through their town. Years later, Mary accepted Christ as her Savior during a Billy Sunday meeting sponsored by First Baptist Church in Elyria, Ohio. She married Ralph and was blessed with one son, Larry. When her husband passed away in 1972, Mary served as secretary for Fellowship Baptist Church in Lorain, Ohio. She later volunteered for Fellowship of Baptists for Home Missions, which later became Baptist Mission of North America. When Baptist Church Planters was established in 1990, Mary volunteered and began her pattern of arriving early in the morning all five workdays and staying until four o’clock, just in case an order needed to be filled. Nearly every envelope leaving Baptist Church Planters has been touched by Mary. Recognizing her many years of faithful service to her church and Baptist Church Planters, Mary’s home church, Abbe Road Baptist Church in Elyria, Ohio, honored her last year.

In nominating Mary, her friend David Little comments, “Mary’s trademark is her prayer life.” He relates that she thanks God for the privilege of talking to Him in every prayer and always ends the prayer with the hope of His imminent return. Mary has served a total of nineteen years as a volunteer for missions organizations.

Ashley Anne Nierman invests her God-given talents in her home church, Tri Lakes Baptist Church in Columbia City, Indiana. Ashley’s love for children manifests itself through her assisting the puppet team and her teaching Vacation Bible School for five years and Awana/Word of Life for six years. In addition to playing piano for a worship group, Ashley sings in the youth choir and the adult choir as well as accompanying or singing with her two younger sisters. Her service of special music includes the two songs she has composed. But not all Ashley’s ministry takes place on the platform. When the youth group lost their full-time youth leader, Ashley helped the youth group work through the disappointment. It is this quiet courage and love that enabled her to travel on two missions trips where the youth group ministered to children in New York City and Charlotte, South Carolina, through puppets, music, and Bible stories.

Ashley is active not only in her church but also in the community, raising funds for the needy, participating in the Christmas Bureau activities and the library’s Book Buddies program, and assembling baskets for senior citizens in December. A member of the National Honor Society, she has worked in 4-H for ten years and with Future Educators in Action.

As she did last year, Ashley is working this summer at Twin Lakes Camp, Hillsboro, Indiana, as a counselor-in-training. She plans to study elementary education at Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, this fall. Family friend Kathryn Walter observes, “Ashley is a sincere young lady who is eager to share her testimony with others.”

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